Donauinsel

Donauinsel, Vienna: Hours, Address, Donauinsel Reviews: 4.5/5

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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The area
Neighborhood: Leopoldstadt
Welcome to one of Vienna’s trendiest quarters. The second district has witnessed a turbulent ride, from medieval swamp to vibrant Jewish quarter, from pleasure ground for the noble and humble to current hip residence and workplace of Vienna’s creative crowd. Cross the Danube Canal from the city center and take in life on Taborstrasse with its mix of old townhouses, churches, theaters, discount shops and ethnic restaurants. Head for Augarten via Karmelitermarkt, Leopoldstadt’s trendy marketplace. Baroque Augarten itself hosts a bizarre mix of manicured hedges and flowerbeds in front of a colossal World War II defense tower, the publicly accessible 300-year-old Augarten porcelain manufactory, the palatial boarding school and funky concert hall of the Vienna Boys Choir, and the modern art museum TBA21. At its opposite corner, The Prater not only houses the Giant Ferris Wheel but blends a bustling amusement park with lush woodland, perfect for a bike tour. Further east is the old derby racing ground of Krieau.
How to get there
  • Donaustadtbrücke • 5 min walk
  • Donaumarina • 7 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
207 reviews
Excellent
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Average
27
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3
Terrible
4

Engin Ovali
Istanbul, Turkey11 contributions
Sep 2020
What is great about the southern part of Donauinsel is that it's all over a relaxed clothing optional nudist zone. You'll see the marks "FKK" on the road where the zone starts; but actually when there is good wheather people extend the zone even more than the official area. That's great about Vienna; after work you do some sports; start in the middle of the city, run (or bike) southwards in the nature, and then just slip out of your sweaty cloths and jump right away in the refreshing water and have a good swim. I did that often when I was in Vienna for work appointments.
Written March 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CarolDM1900
Montpelier, VT3,239 contributions
Mar 2015 • Solo
Runners visiting Vienna can start right here. Forget the Ringstrasse: way too crowded, except perhaps on early weekend mornings. Even then, fast bikers in confined spaces are always a hazard. Prater Park is better: the tree-lined Hauptallee runs for a few kilometers that are pleasant when not crowded, muddy, or strewn with giant chestnuts that seasonally litter the trails.

But my favorite is the Donauinsel --"Danube Island"-- trail, especially the 9 km long section [marked kilometer 12.3 to kilometer 21.3] that runs from the Reichsbrücke [U1 Donauinsel station] toward the barrier dam at Langenzersdorf. From the dam, a 21 km long clean, clear, beautiful stillwater known as the "new" Danube emerges from the "old" river's eerily green commercial channel.

If you ever go up to Leopoldsberg, from there you will see the two Danubes side-by-side, the "old" one murky green and "new" one sparkling blue. The "beautiful blue Danube" is the stillwater section separated by the dam for 21 km, part of a flood control project undertaken in the 1970s and 1980s.

The further you get from the Reichsbrücke, the more you'll enjoy the run because you will find fewer people, fewer dogs, and more nature. This is because, once you pass the bright orange Jedlesee Bridge, there is no other exit point from the island until you reach the dam, still about 4 km away. So if you run to the dam, you will have to double back or cross over it to the other side, from there returning to the nearest bridge exit point about 5 km away. The whole route, from the Reichsbrücke to the dam, then across the river and back to the Reichsbrücke, is 18.5 km.

Other than the exercise, what's so good about running this section of the Donauinsel?

1. Nature, more of it as you go on. Swans all over the river, especially the last km before the dam, along with great blue herons, gulls, jays and many other birds. Green space, with many wildflowers in late summer especially.

2. Swimming platforms, strategically placed so that you can stop for dip without having to wade in from the bank. Or, if you prefer, some sandy beaches after kilometer 18, including one lovely spot with a picnic table right by the river bank. Except after a heavy rain, the water is astonishingly clear and delightful. Just jump right in. Don't have a swimsuit? There's a nudist section between kilometers 17.7 and 19.5, clearly marked with letters FKK painted across the trail.

3. Views. From the minute you leave the Reichsbrücke, you will see Leopoldsberg in the distance. This is Vienna's most famous hill, topped by a white church with a distinctive green roof, St. Leopold's, built to give thanks for victory over the Ottomans in the siege of 1683. If you run to the dam, you will pass right by Leopoldsberg and so also get the view from the opposite side, including the older fort that is adjacent to the church. If you cross to the other river bank over the dam bridge, you will have great views of Leopoldsberg, especially if you climb to the top of a high stone embankment that just about directly across the river from the hill. Early in the morning, when it's still, you can see beautiful reflections of the hill and the church. Worth bringing a small camera, as I often do.

4. Flexibility. You may think you're up for a long run but find you're getting tired, your feet hurt, or you're not dressed for changing weather. Except for the last few kilometers of the island, where you really are stuck, there are exit points that you can use to shorten your run. The Neue Donau station on the U6 line is easily accessible from either bank over the Danzer U-Bahn Bridge which has a pedestrian walkway. 0.3 km from there, the 38 tram crosses over the Floridsdorf bridge on the way to Schotttenring. You can use these exit points to lop off about 3.5 km. Both bridges, near kilometer 15.5, are easy to identify if you are observant enough to note crossing trains and trams or tram wires.

5. Access to Toilets, Food and Drink. Toilets are located every few kilometers along the trail. If you don't see one on "your" side, look across the river; there may be one on the other bank that you can get to across a bridge. At the very end of the island, by the dam, there is a toilet on the far (Langenzersdorf/Danube City) side, so you will have to cross over the dam bridge to get there. In wintertime, though, you are out of luck because all the toilets are closed and locked. Similarly, the cafes along the river banks from Floridsdorf to the Reichsbrücke close until spring. In season, however, you can stop for a refreshing drink, snack or meal. There is a cafe on the high bank right near the 38 tram stop, which has been a lifesaver for me on hot days. Watch for painted signs on the trail pointing the way to a cafe with an advertisement, often one for "Eskimo" ice cream.

6. Distance Markers. The trails have painted markings every tenth of a kilometer, so you will know exactly how far you are going and can plan accordingly. The markers are also helpful if you like to do a few wind sprints during a longer run. It's easy periodically to run very fast for a tenth of a kilometer during a longer run, and the markers give you an incentive to do so.

I should mention that there actually are 3 parallel trails on the island, although I greatly favor the one running along the "new" Danube bank. There is another that goes along the elevated backbone of the island and a third that runs along the "old" Danube bank with its commercial traffic, including river cruise ships that are moored on the other side by a picturesque if obsolete lighthouse. You can change back and forth pretty easily if you wish. The elevated trail tends to be the one that serious bikers use, and they ride very, very fast, so be especially careful if you are running there. The trail on the "old" bank is rough in places, with sometimes rocky footing, and it passes by houseboats moored there for camping or fishing. I would definitely not wade into or swim in that water, even though there are a few pleasant beaches on that side.

I've run the Donauinsel numerous times over the last 8 months and there is no other running trail that comes near to what it offers. Please see my pictures, included here. Good running to you!
Written March 5, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

aaccli
macon, ga533 contributions
Jun 2011
After traveling with our 13 and 15 year old sons for a week through Prague and Vienna, they seemed to get that glazed look about them... like if they saw one more cathedral or palace or castle, they just might fall out. We decided to find some kid-friendly, relaxing, not so rapid-fire sight-seeing place. We found it at the Danube Island. Great stretches of sunbathers, tikibars, restaurants, and skaters lined the banks of the river. We enjoyed sitting here and relaxing, reading a book allowing the boys to wander and be teenagers. They enjoyed jumping on the huge trampolines that were on a barge on the river.
Probably not at the top of the list of the most historical or important sights to visit, but sure was a very pleasant afternoon in June for this family of four.
Written June 11, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Margarita P
Tallinn, Estonia56 contributions
Sep 2012 • Solo
Donauinsel is a precious escape to the nature from the busy city in only 20 min by U-Bahn. The best way is to take U6 and to exit on Neue Donau station, then walk over the bridge to the island.
This part of the Island is quieter and less crowded. There are nice walk path along the Donau river and lots of places to swim and sunbathe. Its also a perfect place to rollerblade and to ride a bike.
Written October 13, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Efrin_Knight
Miami Beach, Florida220 contributions
Apr 2012 • Solo
During my last trip to Vienna in May 2012, I slept in two hotels half way between a big transportation hub called PRATERSTERN and the Danube River: Ibis and Etap Wien Messe hotels, for which I posted two reviews right here, in Trip Advisor, because I slept in both of them.

On my second day, I took subway line U 1 downtown (only three stops from both hotels) but, instead of getting off at “Vorgartenstrasse” station to go back to my room, I continued to the following one, called “DONAUINSEL”, which took me to a long and narrow island in the middle of the Danube river, from where I walked back to my hotel on a pedestrian and bike bridge next to the big road bridge with the subway hidden underneath.

Since it was already 8 pm under a partly cloudy sky, I couldn’t take any pictures nor film a couple of sequences with my cheap camcorder, so I returned a few days later, on a bright and sunny morning, right after a big 6 € breakfast in my hotel (for more details about this incredibly cheap big breakfast, please read my review about the “Etap Wien Messe”) and started filming and taking pictures.

When I was about to leave, I decided to see the other side of a light house and that’s when I discovered the other side of this island with great views and plenty of little restaurants, which I hadn’t noticed until then. Most of them offered set menus for lunch, as it is customary in Europe, for a low price (many under 10 €, which is very, very cheap in the old continent!) and I saw one with Mexican food where they had chicken with pineapple that day.

I had the intention to return there a few hours later, but in the afternoon the weather was turning ugly, so I decided to have lunch in one of the restaurants along Praterstrasse, where I could rapidly get under cover. And I was right because, as I started eating at 2:30 pm, a heavy rain started falling.

Fortunately, “somebody turned off the rain” (as Forrest Gump said in one of the greatest masterpieces of the 7th art, the third of the twelve films that you must take with you to the desert island!) one hour later and I could walk to “Schwedenplatz” and finish smoking my Cuban cigar. Cigar that I had started smoking in the restaurant by the way, because in Vienna, unlike in the US, France or Uruguay, nonsmokers have not managed to impose their tyranny to the whole population and you can still smoke in restaurants, where you will see an ashtray on every table!

Since I was leaving the next morning for London, I will have to try these nice places by the Danube during my next trip to Vienna, scheduled for the next time AA will offer Business fares at 50% in 2013, most probably for May or June.

I will conclude saying that if you are the kind of tourist renting a Segway rather than walking a few blocks along the ocean in Miami Beach, this place is NOT for you! But if you don’t mind walking and going up and down the stairs (NO escalators and NO elevators there!), then you shouldn’t miss this magic place next time you go to Vienna. Personally, I have been in Austria several times since the 1970s and it was only in May 2012 that I discovered this charming place because I was wandering around.
Written June 2, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

irka_v
Riga, Latvia106 contributions
Sep 2011 • Solo
The great idea for warm autumn or spring day - take a Citybyke for free at the Prater underground station (or near your hotel, whatever) and ride east to the Danube. Don't worry about crossing the river by a very wide bridge with cars around you - there is a nice bicycle road isolated from traffic! You'd be riding over the water almost like flying. After landing on the island you'll find not only bikers paradize with plenty of good asphalt roads going up and down - but a lot of places for picnic (even with firewood ready).
Turning right from the bridge you'll soon find the nicest kids playground I ever saw - a small lake with sandy beach, water wheels, pendant bridge and even a sort of ferry which you can move from one side of the lake to another.
You can absolutely forget about ridiculous grandeur of imperial buildings, absurd pathos of baroque churches, smelly streets and everything artifical in this world - except your bicycle, of course :)
Written September 26, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

EL K
26 contributions
Sep 2019 • Family
Took the U1 to Donauinsel. Walked across a short bridge over the river. Lovely place for a picnic, cycling or walking.
Written September 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

santo t
Auckland, New Zealand7,589 contributions
Sep 2018 • Couples
It is manmade island, Insel Donau or Donau Island. It was created by dig and excavated a parallel channel next to the Donau River and named it as New Donau River with manmade island wedged between them. The main purpose of the new river is for the river control and flood protection of Vienna. This narrow manmade strip island, 20 km long with only less than 200m wide now is recreational and event festival venues, with facilities of boating, swimming, cycling, walking, running, sunbathing, beach volley ball as well as picnic places for the whole family. It has restaurants, coffee houses, cafes, night club, parks, but also for musical events. Between the main land and this island there is a floating bridge connection supported by pontoons. A small lighthouse built on this island, and this island has a nickname Copa Cagrana, named as to refer Copacabana Beach in Brazil. Standing on the adjacent Reichs Bridge the scenery is fantastic, the floating bridge, the mountain, the river, horizon landscape are stunning. This Reichs Bridge has two functions, as the road bridge at the top floor, but also the lower floor as Metro Train Station, the Donauinsel Station of Line U1. Visit this island for free, nice place for everyone, blending with beautiful nature with some modern facilities. By coincidence this place is just one station from Alte Donau Train Station, train stop for another water related recreational place at Old Donau River.
Written January 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CHM13
San Francisco, CA241 contributions
Dec 2017 • Family
The Donauinsel is a narrow island in the middle of the Danube river in Vienna.
U-Bahn (U1) will stop directly on the island, and you can walk across the bridge.
Even in the winter time, it is still beautiful to see.
Written January 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

durhamd
Durham, UK490 contributions
Mar 2017 • Couples
Went on the U-bahn line U1 to Donauinsel (Danube Island) to see the river Danube. Station is on bridge over river and you get a good view looking down and along river,

Perfect day to visit as it was a cloudless blue sky and the reflection on the river really made the Danube look blue. Walked along the paths on island which is nice being away from hustle and bustle of city.

However the banks have unattractive tower blocks spoiling the scenery. Other than seeing the river, rather than the grubby canal flowing through the city, there is not much to see here.
Written April 5, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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